Date of Award

Summer 6-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jill Hutcheson

Second Advisor

Dr. Curt R. Green

Third Advisor

Dr. Willicia Hobbs


Student retention has been consequential to students through an assortment of disparaging labels derived from the retention process. It served to marginalize the academic status of those students considered for retention through such practices as ability tracking, inferior labeling, and other discriminatory measures, as they moved through their respective academic journeys. And while both research current to the time of this writing and past research continued to be overwhelming in its stance that such policies and procedures were filled with negative unintended consequences, there was still little or no effort to abate such practices (Allensworth, 2004). This research explored whether student retention policies and procedures at the elementary level were addressed and exercised with consistency, practiced with fidelity, and fully understood by all who participated in the retention decision-making process. Furthermore, were those who are tasked with the decision to retain, doing so in a manner that provided each student considered for retention a process of fairness and equity. The researcher examined the impact of absence of systematic retention procedures through the lens of a mixedmethods research study of a large Midwest metropolitan school district. This study utilized two instruments to acquire data for the proposed research questions. The Teacher Retention Belief and Knowledge Questionnaire, used by Witmer, Hoffman, and Nottis (2004), followed by interviews of selected elementary principals and district assistant superintendents. The findings from this research proved inconclusive with regard to responses to intervention strategies, resource availability for retained students, and the employment of then-current research literature and practices as part of the student retention decision-making protocol.


Copyright 2016